An Auckland man who photoshopped young girls' faces onto already "objectionable material" has avoided jail so he can continue therapy.

Software consultant Andrew Robert Josephson, 57, will spend the next 11 months restricted to his Devonport home, without access to the internet.

Judge Grant Fraser ordered he continue the therapy, which he had undertaken since October, while serving his sentence and for a year afterwards.

Josephson had previously pleaded guilty at Auckland District Court to 20 charges of possessing an objectionable publication and 20 of making such material, which could have landed him in prison for as long as 10 years.

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The latter charges involved him taking already horrendous child-abuse images and photoshopping images of other girls' faces onto them.

He was snagged when returning from Australia in December 2013, when Customs seized his laptop.

A search of the hard drive found numerous pictures of under-aged girls - some depicted in sexualised poses, others being abused by adults.

Four months later Josephson's home was raided and police took two other computers for forensic analysis.

In total 1773 objectionable images were found, 228 of which were ranked at the top end of the spectrum used by police to describe their seriousness.

Court documents show 103 of the images had been photoshopped by the defendant.

Josephson's lawyer John Munro said his client had undertaken numerous sessions with a psychologist at his own cost and was committed to changing his life.

Reports before the court spoke of his genuine remorse, he said.

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Judge Fraser accepted his regret was real but had some stinging words for the defendant.

"Every image represents an actual child being sexually abused, assaulted or exploited and your offending contributed to the demand for objectionable images," he said.

"This is never a victimless crime and the ripples of impact from your offending will be felt by all for a long time."

Josephson received discount to his sentence for his guilty pleas and a 10 per cent reduction for his efforts at rehabilitation, which saw it fall within the range of home detention.

But Judge Fraser was quick to emphasise that was no easy way out.

"A sentence of home detention - I'm told by probation - for anything more than six months is an incredibly difficult one for an offender to endure ... so your endurance will be tested to the extreme," he said.

The court also heard of the "significant" impact on the victims, with one parent saying, "our family as a whole will never be the same again".

Josephson's sentence came with a final warning from the judge.

"Any failure to deal with your problem will inevitably see you back here with an inevitably lengthy prison sentence.

"I can say to you, if you come back on a future occasion, no community-based sentence will follow - you've had your opportunity now."

Judge Fraser ordered Josephson's computer hard drives be wiped and he was barred from accessing the internet while on home detention.